Sex Discrimination in Education FAQ
Discrimination of individuals on the basis of gender with respect to educational activities and programs (including sports) is prohibited in the U.S. The law, referred to as "Title IX" (corresponding to the relevant section of the Education Amendments of 1972), also protects parents, teachers, and other staff from discriminatory acts. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions about sex discrimination in education. See FindLaw's Gender Discrimination section for additional resources.
What is Title IX?
Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities which receive federal financial assistance. Title IX states that:
No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.
Are all school districts, colleges, and universities covered by Title IX?
Virtually all public school districts are covered by Title IX because they receive some federal financial assistance and operate education programs. Public colleges and universities generally receive federal financial assistance, and most private colleges and universities receive such assistance. There are some private colleges that do not receive any federal assistance, and Title IX does not apply to them.
Are all programs in a school or college covered if it receives federal financial assistance?
Generally, all programs in a school or college are covered if the school or college receives federal financial assistance. Title IX covers all programs of a school or college that receives financial assistance including academics, extracurricular, and athletics. Also, Title IX applies to all activities of a school or college, even those that occur off campus.
Does Title IX protect only students?
No, Title IX protects all participants in the program from discrimination, including parents, students, and employees.
Are schools responsible for addressing sexual harassment?
Yes, when schools become aware that sexual harassment is severe, persistent or pervasive, they must take effective actions.
Must a school athletic program provide an equal opportunity under Title IX?
School districts and colleges are required to provide an equal opportunity in meeting student interest in sports, and in specific program areas like equipment and supplies and recruitment.